FOR YOUR BOOKSHELF
“MOTOR RACING IN NEW GERMANY.”
German thoroughness is a byword, and in no other activity has it been more strikingly demonstrated than in motor-racing. Two seasons ago Germany was not represented in Grand Prix road racing, and the Italian productions were supreme. It was decided that something must be done about it, and the 0.N.S., or Official Notional Motor Sport Committee was formed, with Korpsffihrer Iiiihnlein at its head. At the same time Dr. Porsche and the late Dr. Nibel set to work designing and constructing the Auto-Union and Mercedes-Benz racing cars.
As all the world knows, this national effort has been extraordinarily successful, so much so that the G.P. cars swept all before them in their first season. The whole scope of the O.N.S. activity has now been reviewed in a beautifully produced book, entitled “Der Kraftfahrsport im neuen Deutschland/’ published by Verkelirsverlag Deutschland G.m.b.h., Columbushaus, Potsdarner Platz 1, Berlin, W. 9, Germany, and selling at 2 marks 80 (at the present rate of exchange 4s. 8d. The book consists of close on 200 pages, profusely illustrated
with that distinctive photography which characterises so many Continental journals and booklets. A semi-stiff cover is used, with a striking coloured study of a driver’s head by the well-known German motoring artist Theo Matejko. A feature of the book is the detailed analysis of all German motor competitions, including races, hill-climbs and trials. The contents have been compiled and edited by Adolf Maurer.
A point which is stressed continually throughout the book is that a new view of motor-racing is now taken throughout Germany, and that national feeling runs high in the desire to see the German cars triumph in international competitions. What a contrast to the official and public attitude towards motor sport in this country ! An early chapter dealing with the problems confronting Dr. Porsche and Dr. Nibel points out that independent springing, to which the German G.P. cars owe so much of their success, was developed by such difficult cross-country
The use of really efficient competition tyres is vitally important for successful participation in trials. Owners of V8 Fords and 24 h.p. Fords were faced with the snag that no standard sports tyre would fit their wheels, until the Invicta Motor Engineering Works, of 23, Lower Bridge Street, Canterbury, produced a re-treaded tyre for this purpose. These Invicta competition tyres have
trials as the Hartzfahrt in the Hartz mountains. Only the finest metals could withstand the strain of these events ; but even with the benefit of this knowledge the designers of the racing cars were aware that they were, to a certain extent, gambling when they equipped their 200 m.p.h. racing cars with independent springing. But their faith in the system, and courage, have been amply vindicated.
The post-war history of motor-racing is traced, culminating in a brief description of the Alfa-Romeo, Bugatti and Maserati—the cars which Germany set out to beat. The speeds of these cars are given as 170 m.p.h. in the case of the 3.2-litre Alfa, and 155 m.p.h. in the case of the 3.3-litre Bugatti and the 3-litre Maserati. The German designers tackled the job individually, and both produced cars which developed 300-320 h.p., attained a speed of anything up to 200 m.p.h„ and weighed 748 kilograms. For record
” COMP ” TYRES
been used with conspicuous success by such well-known trials competitors as Messrs. H. Hilkoat, G. M. Denton, Hon. A. D. Chetwynd, J. Whalley and C. Mann. The powerful grip of the Invicta tyre has resulted in many enquiries being received from sports car owners for tyres of different sizes, and in order to meet breaking purposes, however, the power output went up to some
thing like 380 h.p. In both cases the engine speed was 6-7,000 r.p.m., but the two cars were totally different in layout and construction.
Independent springing does not only allow higher maximum speeds to be attained on normal roads with 750 kilogram cars, but it also provides progressive acceleration without any wheelspin and lastly it greatly reduces tyre wear. It is really remarkable that the German cars went right through the 500 kilometre races at Avus, Monza and San Sebastian without changing their tyres 1 This alone is sufficient to enable a car to win, without the increased speed and better road-holding. There is an interesting photograph showing the condition of the tyres after various races, from which it can be seen the Monza involved the greatest strain. Avus is normally very hard on the tyres, but last year’s rain kept the tyres cool, and the AutoUnions barely showed any signs of wear at all. A good deal of space is devoted to trials like the 2,000 kilometre trial last year. It is instructive to see the difference in the organisation and general conduct of these events from that of our own R.A.C. Rally. Instead of the
the Rally, harassed by mobile police in built-up areas, and the absence of any kind of popular spectacle at the finishing point and controls, we find a universal enthusiasm, spectators lining the course and storm-troopers stationed at all turnings to direct the competing cars on their correct route. Motor-cycling as a sport is immensely popular, and the photographs of massstarts of trials and races are deeply impressive. It cannot be gainsaid that motor-racing gains immensely by spectacular organisation, such as is seen in this country only at the motor-cycle speedways. An astonishing motor-cycling event in Germany, incidentally, is the Police Rally at Nurburg Ring
Altogether this book is a wonderful testimony to the determination of modern Germany to attain a high position in the world of motor sport. It is beautifully printed and composed, and many of the photographs of cars at speed will delight the racing enthusiast. this demand the re-treading plant at Canterbury has been enlarged and the following sizes are now available : 18 x 5.25, 17 x 5.50, 19x 4.75, 19x 4.50, 19x 4,
18 x 4.75 and 18x 4.50.
The success of the Invicta re-tread is largely due to the actual trials experience of the Managing Director, Mr. J. B. Thompson, whose V8 Ford is a regular competitor in all big events.